Recent Modernist Blog Posts

Welcome to the Amazing Food Made Easy blog! This is a place I can share information and updates that don't fit into a specific area on the rest of the site. I focus mainly on sous vide and modernist cooking but if it's an interesting cooking method or fun cooking news I'll cover it as well.

In addition to cooking and sous vide news, how to guides and other articles, there's a lot of different types of information here including:

If you are looking for recipes you can view them on my pages for latest recipes, whipping siphon recipes or sous vide recipes.

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Thanks, enjoy the blog and happy cooking!

StarChefs Congress 2018 Recap

If you have been following along with me on Facebook, Instagram, or Twitter, you've seen all the amazing food, presentations, and people I've experienced at StarChefs 2018. I want to add a little more context, and put some of my favorite experiences here on the blog. If you are a chef, or an adventurous home cook, StarChefs should definitely be on your "must attend" list. It's just a fascinating conference and I've been lucky to cover it for a few years.

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Jesse Vida and Junghyun Park from Atomix kicked off the conference for me with a great demo combining a cocktail and food pairing.

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The cocktail was a complex blend with tart, sweet, and effervescent notes.

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Do You Need a Circulator for Sous Vide - Ask Jason

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The short answer is, I don't think so. If it works for you, then great. Circulators are really nice to have though.

My Crock-Pot was an old model that didn't work very well anymore. After trying to do some ribs, I gave up on it; never used it again. I wanted to sous vide the ribs at 176 degrees and it took about 4 1/2 hours for the Crock-Pot to get the hot tap water up to that temperature. The people who say that it doesn't matter how powerful it is because you can use hot tap water, have never waited 4 1/2 hours to get up to temperature; it was ridiculous.

To make matters worse, it didn't even hold the temperature very well, and so I really struggled with those ribs. But if it's working for you and meets your needs, then stick with it. There's nothing wrong with a basic setup.

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Need More Pickled Vegetables? - Ask Jason

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Timm Kuster says "We need more pickled vegetables on our plates!" That's a good comment because I also think pickled vegetables are great.

I didn't do much pickling until my last cookbook Amazing Food Made Easy: Healthy Sous Vide. In that one I did 2 different pickled vegetable recipes and it showed me just how easy it is to use sous vide for pickling.

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What Should You Not Sous Vide - Ask Jason

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This is a really great question! We get in this kind of echo chamber when discussing the use of sous vide cooking. I feel there's two opposite groups of people. There's the one side who thinks sous vide is completely overrated; it can't do anything that you can't do with traditional cooking. Then there's the camp who thinks you should sous vide everything. You've probably seen the extreme of that in the once or twice a year joke post about "my popcorn is going in the sous vide machine".

Despite the fact I make a living from writing and talking about sous vide, I believe that not everything is better with sous vide. I really feel sous vide is another tool and depending on what you're trying to accomplish, it might be the best tool.

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How Do You Pasteurize Fish with Sous Vide - Ask Jason

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A lot of people are disappointed cooking fish with sous vide and I think that's because there's several ways to prepare fish. Two of the main ones are more gently cooked methods like poached or steamed fish, and higher heat methods like grilled or pan-fried fish. I believe sous vide works great for some but not all fish preparations.

However, sous vide does excels at making many types of more gentle fish preparations, such as poached or steamed fish. In addition, sous vide is also great at low temperature preparations, such as lightly cured or slightly warmed fish.

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Sous Vide Pre-sear vs Post-sear – Ask Jason

Sous vide searing steak front There is a lot of talk about whether you should sear your meat before sous viding it. There are two main reasons to do it. First, pre-sear before sous vide to sterilize the meat. The first one is to kill anything on the outside of the meat before you sous vide it. Generally, lactobacillus can grow at the same temperatures you sous vide at. This is also why some people say before sous vide dunk the meat in boiling water for 5 or 10 seconds, just enough to kill everything that's on the outside.

The other reason to pre-sear is to add flavor and help out your post-sear. For most things I would never recommend only pre-searing. So if you are going to pre-sear you still want to sear at the end. Pre-searing reduces the amount of time it takes to post-sear.

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How Do You Reheat Sous Vided Food - Ask Jason

Sous vide seared steak

How do you reheat sous vide food? I have some sous vide time and temperature charts that talk about heating your food or pasteurizing your food; it all applies to tender foods. If you've cooked something ahead of time, it's now considered a tender food. The temperature doesn't matter too much as long as you're reheating it at a temperature below what you originally sous vided it at.

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Sous Vide Searing Tips - Ask Jason

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Searing is one of those things that some people have no problem with it and other people really struggle with it all the time. There's a lot of things you can do to help increase your success and there's many different searing methods to choose from.

Some ideas to consider are the thicker the meat is the better sear you can get without overcooking the meat. Regardless of the type of pan, the heavier it is, the more heat it holds. The hotter you can get the pan before putting the meat in, the better the sous vide sear will be.

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Animato Whipped Cream Dispenser Review

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I recently tried out the Animato Whipped Cream Dispenser. The Animato whipping siphon is an inexpensive, but high quality charger that I really liked. I really liked the way the Animato whipping siphon handles. It is heavy and feels very sturdy, especially compared to several of the less expensive siphons I have tried out. I especially like that the siphon is all metal, which is critical because I often use mine in a water bath to keep mousses and foams hot.

For my testing, I made a agar-based mango-red curry foam, a nitrous oaked negroni, and a tarragon-caper infused mousse and the whipping siphon handled admirably during all three.

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How to Get Crispy Turkey and Chicken Skin After Sous Vide

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When I was a kid, I looked forward to eating crispy turkey skin more than anything else at the table! If you are like that, and really, really need your super crispy skin even after sous vide, then you have a few options.

These methods work for both sous vide turkey and sous vide chicken. They also work on duck skin with a little bit of tweaking.

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Why Sous Vide a Turkey for Thanksgiving

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There are several different goals people have when cooking a turkey. They can't all be accomplished equally using sous vide so it's important to know what you are most concerned about.

If your primary goal is to serve perfectly cooked turkey to your guests, then using sous vide to cook your turkey is hard to beat. Both the white and dark meat will turn out super tender and moist. You also have exact control over the doneness, so you can go as high or low with your temperature as you want.

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Snake River Farms Prime Beef Review

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I was recently hired by Snake River Farms to create a How-To video showing how to sous vide prime rib. They sent me an 11 pound and a 14 pound bone-in American Gold Wagyu prime rib roast (it also comes without the bone) to do the video with and I was really impressed with their beef.

Their steak is comparably priced to other prime beef and I've been very happy with the quality of it. The marbling is exceptional and the meat is especially rich and beefy. I think their beef is a very good "special occasion" beef when you are looking to enjoy an exceptional cut.

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Anova Nano Sous Vide Circulator Detailed Review

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This is a detailed review of the Anova Nano, an inexpensive sous vide immersion circulator recently released by Anova Culinary LLC.

This circulator is the latest generation of the Anova line, with the design focused primarily on reducing the cost and size of the circulator, making it available to more sous viders than ever before. But don't let the low cost fool you, this unit has the design, quality, and precision that Anova has built its reputation on. The purpose of this review is to give you the information you need to determine if the Anova Nano is the right immersion circulator for your needs.

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Instant Pot SSV800 Accu Slim Sous Vide Circulator - Detailed Review

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This is a detailed review of the SSV800 Accu Slim sous vide circulator, an inexpensive sous vide immersion circulator recently released by Instant Pot.

This circulator is the second sous vide circulator that Instant Pot has brought to market. The SSV800 Accu Slim is essentially a smaller, cost-reduced version of the original SV800, with very similar performance characteristics. The purpose of this review is to give you the information you need to determine if the Accu Slim is the right immersion circulator for your needs.

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Bernzomatic Torches: TS4000 vs TS8000 for Sous Vide Searing

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As more and more home cooks aspire to become accomplished sous viders, they are experimenting to discover the best ways to create an awesome sear on a variety of proteins. One of the more popular, and the one I use a lot, is to use a torch, either by itself or in conjunction with another technique such is pan frying.

There are numerous torch options available and we have reviewed several of them. In this article we take a close look at the two Bernzomatic offerings; the TS4000 and TS8000 and provide a recommendation. We also suggest a potential modification to the torch that you might want to explore.

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